When you’re looking at homes for sale in Sarasota, FL, or Houston, TX, certain factors are on the top of your list — be they large walk-in closets, a gourmet kitchen, or a private backyard. But beyond the details of the house itself, your potential new abode’s neighborhood will most likely be high on your list (location, location, location!).
Maybe it’s the community pool, the nearby biking trails, or walkability to the elementary school and grocery store. Or maybe it’s the overall curb appeal of the neighborhood. (Who doesn’t want their neighborhood’s entrance bursting with inviting, colorful flowers and shrubs?) Here’s a list of the neighborhood features that not only satisfy your home-buying checklist but also boost your resale and property value in the future.
Yes, it seems as if we drive or take public transportation everywhere these days. But the truth is, there’s something about being able to walk out your front door and head down the street to the grocery store or local coffee shop that not only appeals to potential buyers but also boosts your resale value significantly.
“Whether you’re a young, urban professional or a baby boomer, homeowners want to be able to walk or bike to local eateries, bars, grocery stores, banking, and more,” says Brad Pauly, a real estate professional with Pauly & Presley Realty in Austin, TX. “If a new restaurant opens in a desirable, walkable neighborhood, that could increase the value of that property.” This is especially important in urban areas such as San Francisco, where a Walk Score can make or break a home’s value.
Who wouldn’t want a free pool? “Homeowners love neighborhood amenities,” says Pauly. “Typically, new-home communities offer pools, fitness facilities, parks and play areas, and security and gates.” Amenities such as tennis courts, walking and biking trails, and dog parks do incredible things to boost a home’s resale value — especially for families looking to buy.
“We’re seeing increased interest in neighborhoods with amenities that rival a resort: workout facilities, pools, playgrounds,” says Sharon Voss, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association. “Here in Florida, sports fields, biking and walking trails, and multifunction green spaces are utilized year-round and highly valued.”
“The historic character of a neighborhood tends to help resale value, as it is a feature that is difficult to replicate,” explains Ross Anthony, a real estate agent with Willis Allen Real Estate in San Diego. “Many times, historically designated districts will aim to maintain a certain level of uniformity and have community commissions to help preserve the neighborhood aesthetic, which in turn will help preserve values.”
Not everyone wants to choose from the four models a builder offers — and only those four models — which is why neighborhoods that offer you the choice of semicustom or custom homes sometimes have a better resale value than ones that don’t.
“Areas with custom and semicustom homes, compared to cookie-cutter production homes, tend to show larger increases in value over time,” says Anthony. “More astute buyers prefer unique homes with character that add to the charm of the neighborhood and are more likely to own for longer periods of time, creating less turnover in the neighborhood.”
It almost goes without saying that if a neighborhood is located in a great school district, it immediately boosts a home’s resale value. “If a home is in a quality school district, those communities tend to not only retain their value, but appreciate as well,” adds Pauly. “There will always be parents who want their children attending great schools.”
What neighborhood feature attracted you to your home? Tell us in the comments!